The Arcane Emperor

Chapter 94 Of Arcane and Fros

Elelaria was already awake and drinking tea when the [Archon] joined her. Following him were the sister he previously mentioned; two lovers, one a red-haired Human and one a golden-eyed Wolfkin with obvious royal ties; an apprentice, and his Undead. She briefly wondered about the silver-haired Elf she had seen him with. Given recent knowledge, she had assumed he brought her to his room with a teleport from his home. And his own insistence at being taken only furthered that.
No matter. She wasn't one to spread the secrets of her new Lord.
She was a bit surprised at the Human's Mana level given that he said only his younger sister was a Magus. Said black-haired younger sister was beside her brother.
Although, said younger sister's level of Mana put her on the higher end of tier 2 mages.
Do they have different mothers?
Ele briefly wondered. While they shared hair and eye colors and general features, Rainer simply outpaced the, while still beautiful, Human girl by a large margin in the attractiveness department. A situation that was usually reversed amongst brother and sister.
And he fell significantly behind in the Mana department. Truly, that was one of the most confusing things about the grossly powerful mage who was now her Lord. The only reasonable explanation she could gather was an extensive use of passive magics. She had already witnessed a causal feat of great strength when he easily moved the current table they sat at. She knew full well how heavy these thick wooden tables were.
The final young girl was his apprentice. That she already had her Affinity unlocked showed she must have an astounding talent for Mana. Certainly a decent symbol of status to have such an apprentice. Anyone lucky enough could become strong, but this procession of individuals should put to rest any theories that Rainer Nvos was not the Lord Magus he claims.
Even she found her own theory about his backstory being a complete lie stifled. She had noticed a few inconsistencies in his story, not to mention the largest one of him being a master of Body Enchantment and yet them only working on magical races. Something certainly made intriguing by his claim of his homeland being nearly all human. She may need to speak with him on that matter before he tells anyone else.
Not that she cared if that was the case, so long as he was capable of fulfilling his promises in general and to her. The Body Enchantments, his class, and his spectacular and frankly bored, execution of Taranien [Priest]s was enough to prove that at least for the Elf. Truly, him treating his voyage and current destination like a vacation, on top of treating the attack by said [Priest]s as a simple annoyance, did more to reinforce his image to her than anything else.
They exchanged regular greetings and names soon after. While the conversation was stilted at first, they quickly forgot about their new guest and left Ele to her tea.
Ele found a particular exchange quite 'interesting'. And she also noted that no one acted or treated each other as if they had particular status. Part of her made a note to ask if that was specific to their group or 'homeland'. On top of every other issue she had relating to Rainer's homeland.
"Don't forget my portion of the Enchantment profits."
"You don't trust your own brother?"
"Trust you to not scam me? Of course, I'd bet my life on that. But trust with money? Not even in the slightest. Not even the tiniest bit. Who other than you gives a sailor a piece of Fae Gold because he explained the basics of sails to you?"
Had Elelaria been less accustomed to his surprises or less trained she would have spit out her tea at that last sentence.
"You're lucky you weren't around when Sorcerer dines. Even if I did not fully understand the amounts, the look of utter gratitude and shock on any servant's eyes when he handed them additional money for some odd reason was enough."
"There was no tipping in Nalmar?" Rainer asked. The North American was already aware of other countries in his world seeing that practice as silly. But he had always been in favor of commission or merit-type practices even if tipping leaned in the favor of pretty women and immoral business practices more than actual merit.
"Tipping? As in tipping Wyverns? I must admit I never understood the fun in such a practice."
"Now I'm glad I'm the one that dealt with those Carpenters. We probably would have had to live in the street once we got to Fenrar if you paid them," Sarah spoke.
The [Archon] shrugged in response to his sister, seemingly having no defense.
"Master Nvos has no need to spend time thinking on such trivialities," his apprentice offered her own defense.
Given the amount of money he would handle should his plans succeed, and she had every intention of seeing them succeed, Ele made a mental note to get as many decisions out of this man's hands as possible. She did not doubt his intellect, but even all the genius in the world was pointless when you simply did not care about most things.
"Are you sure I have to be present?" Rainer asked Elelaria again as she lectured him on his upcoming meeting with the founding head and current heads of the Lamia clan.
"I will not dignify such a question with an answer," Ele sniffed, getting a chuckle out of Sarah. After he gave his idea of the Moon Elf lecturing his sister on political matters, they both took interest in it. Ele, because it would put some credence on him being a Lord Magus, if at least his close family was proficient in that matter, and Sarah purely out of personal interest. Well, he assumed that was Ele's reason. He wasn't going to call out every partial lie, so long as it wasn't a direct one. That would put a light on his own ability to do so in the first place. And everyone told partial lies frequently enough, even if Ele was exceptional in that case.
Rainer sighed. Even he understood that sending a subordinate to meet with someone of similar or greater status was either extremely rude or an intentional slight. He hoped the rest of the meetings he could leave to Ele since they were unlikely to include Mala. Momentarily, he wondered what his new employee was going to ask for payment, as they hadn't covered that topic yet. Given that their needs were currently fulfilled, it may be a while. But he figured that he shouldn't make her have to ask.
"By the way, what kind of salary do you want?"
"For now, living and clothing expenses shall do. We can discuss it further once I have achieved something of merit."
"Yes, 'we'," Sarah chimed in, giving the Moon Elf a speculative look.
"No matter how easy it would be, there is little merit in fleecing my Lord of money. I prefer challenges."
"That's good to know. I can see why you took this job."
"Hey?" Rainer complained, but said complaint went ignored by the two women.
He wasn't that bad with money, was he? Then there was the obvious implication that this job would be a large challenge. Shrugging, Rainer let the matter drop. It's not like he actually cared about money beyond what it could do for him. Perhaps a result of growing up rich and having anything he wanted with no worry for the future. He guessed Sarah might have been similar except she had grown up extremely worried for the future. At least she seemed far happier now.
"My Lord, there is one last thing you should know, and I have little doubt that everyone expects me to have told you."
"My Lord?" Rainer questioned, having heard her calling him that earlier.
"Merely preparing my vernacular for the meeting. Neutral City has been pressured more and more by the Taranien Empire. That my own grandfather and Uthor aren't able to protect the trade routes as well as before, and all the preparation for the upcoming Dungeon Meet has seen a significant increase in raiding. Part of the reason the Ambassadors were sent to out was to gather military support of any measure."
"They are going to ask me to help?"
"Yes. Not directly of course, but they will ask. And I need you to avoid answering for as long as possible. I had told of your strength, and they have seen your teleportation abilities, so undoubtedly they dearly want your aid. And I'm guessing you have little issue killing pirates or [Priest]s of the Taranien Empire for what would be for you, free Experience."
"But, this is exactly what we need to say no to. Do not allow yourself to be purchased like a common Mercenary. We already have plenty of those. If that happens, the only real route forward would be that of a subordinate. You will one day protect the trade route, because it carries your own goods and enchanters, not because you are a servant or protector of this city. That is the point we must hint at if you wish to do your initial establishment here before finding an island for yourself and become autonomous."
"So what exactly do I have to do?" Rainer asked. He knew by nature of his 'power' he could become autonomous whenever he pleased, but muscling through such political issues would undoubtedly blow back on him and ruin the whole reason he was dealing with politics in the first place.
"Be evasive, and do not offer or accept to help protecting the city in any way, shape, or form. And please do not under any circumstance, no matter how good the offer seems, trade your protection directly for something else. That may be even worse even if in the short-term you get what you want. I shall handle the rest when the time for you to lead the diplomacy has ended."
They spent the last of their time prior to the meeting finally working on the magical experiment Rainer wanted to do on Ele. And after some tweaking, the level 9 [Arcane Presence] soon became subtle enough to be undetectable to even the magic-sensitive Sarah, along with her recent advancements in that regard. Rainer even briefly returned to Liandra, the chosen carrier for the [Soul-Trace] in the Wolf King's Capital city, and tested it there.
That was an advantage Rainer planned on fully using.
Rainer Void-walked to the front of the meeting place, Ele and Kara in hand. After a talk with the Wolf King, he agreed that, while they needed to keep him out of it, there was no issue in alluding to the fact that Kara was of his line. That she wasn't necessarily his daughter but could even be a sister, an aunt, or a distant cousin, blurred the relationship enough not to cause any problems to the Throne while being beneficial to Kara in particular.
He entered soon after as a guard led the way for them. Momentarily relaxed as he watched the slithering beauty that was showing them the way, he wondered just what this meeting would hold for the future. An apparently polite thing to do despite the pinch in his side he received from Kara, and her own eyes roving the same places as his. It was considered polite to look at a Lamia, especially if they were intentionally being enticing.
Moving up the ramp to the room in question, Rainer went over everything Ele had drilled into him. While important things may be discussed here, this was mainly a meet and a greet with the Founding Head and some of the leadership. If anything, it'd be more of him handing over the list related to Lamia for body enchantments and promises of future meetings.
Somehow or another, being fully prepared for the meeting made him more nervous. A surprise given that things like this had never made him nervous before. Ignorance was bliss.
Had it been the best idea to become even a little bit more educated on the matter? Wasn't he at this point knowing enough to be nervous but not enough to actually be a politician of any sort?
Further introspection was put on pause as he entered the room. Sitting in a semi-circle were the very Lamia he expected to see. And several others who would be joining the meeting. To his surprise the red-haired Lamia who still glared at him was here as well.
With Mala in the center, they all sat on fur rugs on the floor, with more empty for Rainer's and his party's use. Though, sat wasn't exactly correct given their lower halves. Rainer was opposite from Mala, with Kara on his left and Ele on his right. Left being family of importance, and right being people of importance in a political sense. A small thing, but no reason to show unnecessary disrespect to their customs.
That the Lamia's seating wasn't raised was a good sign. They went out of their way to remove things from the seating just to make it clear it was a meeting of equals. It seemed his teleportation and revelation of his class had quite the large effect.
The meeting went on with simple pleasantries exchanged, all the while Rainer used his [Arcane Presence] to secretly make himself seem more imposing. A bit of Arcane infused into his voice didn't hurt either.
His request for a more permanent residence was taken into consideration, followed by a mention of the list and a single free gift of a set of enchants sans materials. While spaced between other discussions it was obvious as to why a free set was offered.
"I should hope you do not mind I watch as you enchant my granddaughter, Saya?" Mala questioned, and it became more than clear to everyone in the room Saya was not made aware of this beforehand.
Rainer kept a stoic face despite wanting to grin at the almost literally fuming Lamia. Did her hair somehow turn more red?
"Such is expected."
"As you may know, many of our clan while quite specialized are enchanters themselves. Would it be possible for an explanation to accompany the enchant?"
Rainer got the feeling that this wasn't expected either, even if the rest hid their surprise far better. It was a traditionally rude question to ask a mage to reveal anything about his magic. And also unallowed under the rules of many Guilds. In fact, it wouldn't be unreasonable for a Northern Mage to start an armed conflict over a question like this.
Well, part of my pitch is being different than the northern mages…
Rainer thought it over. The chances of them actually learning Body Enchantment were nonexistent. At least in a time-frame that mattered to him. By the time they made progress on the horribly dangerous [Internal Runic Formation], the information would likely already be taught by his academy. Assuming they ever could. It was a racial skill made only possible to him through a combination of [Sleep Learning] and his [Archon] class. He himself had no idea where he'd even begin in teaching it outside of [Sleep Learning]. Even the basics of basics were all but certain to maim someone.
But, it was still better to check with Ele on things like this.
"I'll take it into consideration," Rainer answered, and did his best to switch his [Arcane Presence] to less stifling and more pleasant feeling.
The rest of the meeting was riddled with subtle mentions of their problems with trade, raiding, and security, that Rainer did his best to evade and was occasionally helped with by Ele. He guessed his use of [Arcane Presence] was the only thing that saved him from being lead into a corner, after all, several of Mala's own aides in the meeting found themselves fumbling over words for seemingly no reason when he merely looked at them. He doubted they'd ever figure out how the [Archon] made them so impossibly nervous.
"We are hosting an auction a week from tomorrow, followed by a party for all the visiting dignitaries, I should hope to see you there, Archon Nvos."
"Of course," Rainer answered and they left soon after.
Back in their guest housing, Rainer explained his titles and conversation with Talvara, and then eventually what he wanted to do. Ele was elsewhere, already meeting with someone of the Lamia about possible residences of a more permanent nature.
"Do you really have to go," Luna spoke up first.
"No. But this is something I created. I have no idea what that means, I can't just leave it alone if I have a choice."
"You can't leave alone... our child?" Luna asked right after.
His father thing had been a half-awake joke. But wasn't he technically the father? It being an complete and utter accident oddly supported that, he mused. And he had more than enough intelligence to not dispute the 'our' part of Luna's question-statement.
"Looks like there's really no choice," Kara said, wryly smiling at the Fairy who seemed happy at the new addition, "What of us coming with you?"
Rainer went on to explain why that wasn't possible, much to their disappointment. A disappointment that led to Kara all but demanding he make a body enchantment to convert Miasma to something else. That her idea had some plausibility, given Draconic Magic's similarity to [Arcane Invigoration], was most certainly noted by the [Archon]. But not something he could do in a reasonable time-frame. Especially when a month had already passed since the birth of the Elemental in Abyssal Plane time.
Rainer did his best to pick a more normal time of day as he checked on Laneth with [Void Seer] and then Void-walked to the Fae Realm.
If he was going back to the Abyssal Planes, he may as well talk to Amer. The Devil hadn't seem to be torn up about the loss of his cult, but that had been when there was nothing to do about it. For all he knew, it was just extreme pragmatism from his advanced age rather than actual disinterest.
He had already told the Devil that they had nothing more to worry about from Void Lords, but Amer didn't ask to return. Not that Rainer could blame him. Despite his appearance, a Devil's sense of beauty wasn't that much different from a human's. And here Amer had a supernaturally beautiful race of women deeply interested in him because he was a strong mage.
That, and despite being someone of high status, Amer lived in what was basically border-line poverty anywhere else. Only his book collection spoke of any wealth. Rainer could see why he wouldn't want to return. Which was exactly why he wasn't surprised by his answer.
"There is no need for me to go back," Amer said.
"What about your cult?"
"I was their leader yes, but I was also a chain in that sense. You think I would have allowed any of them to leave, surpass, or betray me? To take my training and use it to form their own organizations? I am sure they are far happier without me. And I have little interest in bringing any here. I am old enough to not care about most things apart from my enjoyment and plans to advance to the Third Tier. But I cannot say the same for others."
"What do you mean?"
"You would not want my people here. Nor would I allow them to sully such a wonderful place."
"Your call," Rainer said, and was suddenly glad Amer didn't want them here. He had just remembered that in all likelihood the Devil in front of him wasn't someone you could call a good person. Only his age, apparently, tempered the lust for power and carnage.
"But if you are going back, I do know something that may interest you."
Rainer looked to his side, seeing how nervous Kara was. The Wolfkin dearly wanted to go with him despite the possible consequences of Miasma. But he couldn't be sure he would recover his Mana fast enough to save her should the atmosphere affect her quicker than expected.
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And he had his own business there along with more information on what he could work on from Amer. Whether about a better version of a [Soul Trace] or more knowledge on the Avatar Ritual. Ele had been entirely right about him being the Lynchpin in his goals. No matter how strong his companions got, he was still the teleporter and the Magus from the Far North. The one who controlled the Mana.
All the more reason to create more than one of himself.
"Will you be gone long?" Luna asked, a bit depressed. She argued far less than Kara to follow him, fully knowing that Miasma affected her more than the rest of them. And her early support had been a deciding factor.
"Don't worry, with the time difference, I might not even be gone that long to you."
"It's always long for Luna…"
Rainer hugged the fairy, already planning on doing something nice for her when he returned. And he had an idea of what, no matter how little he wanted to do it.
"And yet you would leave something else you created alone?" Kara asked, and Rainer nearly froze as he saw the Half-Demon's hand over her stomach.
"W-w-what? I mean how? No-no I mean, that's great. W-when did-"
The way Kara bit her lip to keep from laughing told him the truth of the matter.
"Very funny. You should already be aware how vengeful of a person I am."
"All the more motivation for you to come back safely," Kara said with a smirk.
"Don't think you'll be getting away with this," Rainer said with a fake glare before preparing to make the long-distance Void-walk to the Void-Lords here before heading to the Abyssal Planes.
Rainer glanced over the entry room, the Abyssal Elf he brought with him nearby. He hadn't expected that Talvara would ask him to bring Aurora back. Was this revenge for whatever he had done to make her mood sour? She had to have known how much this currently short-haired Elf hated him. Or perhaps she didn't. Talvara was removed from most people.
"Where next?" The Elf asked him, her expression showing her hatred quite well. Apparently saving her had done nothing to change that.
"You know, you were the one who attacked me first. Besides, the short hair suits you better," Rainer responded, though inwardly he wondered if she was trying to get him away from the Void Lord's home as quickly as possible. No matter, he had little interest in creating friction between himself and Talvara.
The way her grey eyes stared at him showed she didn't particularly care about that. Neither of his statements. Rainer shrugged, nothing much he could do here.
"It's not too far from where we fought the first time. It's an underground city where your race exterminated some Dwarves ages ago."
"I know the place, let's go."
Rainer wasn't given the option to refuse as she gripped his arm and took him with her through the Void. He could have resisted the move, but just followed along as moments later they ended up in front of the black-stoned peak he had first seen when he came to this world.
At least, that's what it should have been.
A violet mountain covered in ice extended towards the sky, and said ice went even further, its frigid presence reaching out quite a bit away from the base.
Rainer looked over and saw Aurora shiver, perhaps a memory of her own encounter with this ice. Though it was ironically what saved her from his Final Arcanum, not that he knew of that.
"You coming?" Rainer asked with a grin as he started walking forward. From the sheer presence of the magical Arcane-Ice, he knew full well casually [Void-walking] wouldn't be a good idea. No matter how much less affected, in comparison to teleportation, travelling through the Void was, there was little reason to risk it unless he needed to. He remembered perfectly well how that Cultist had failed in his attempt at teleportation in the presence of his [Absolute Frost]. And Talvara's words on how the creation of an Elemental came from a place of extreme elements.
He had had more than enough accidental Void-walks for a lifetime.
The Elf responded by following along. Moments later, he wrapped both of them in an [Eldritch Flight] and went forward. His heartbeat increased as he grew ever curious to what awaited him in the mountain.
No matter how fast he flew, the trip to where he cast [Absolute Frost] was a long one.
Rainer noticed his passenger, who had for some reason sought to accompany him the whole way, had gone silent, and just sort of accepted the ride. The cold air around them wasn't able to fully penetrate the eventual switch to [Arcane-Wind's Ascent], though the temperature dropped more and more as they headed in.
His resistances on top of his Constitution and perhaps Willpower left him unaffected, but he saw the Elf growing more and more uncomfortable. He had opted not to take Tiamat on this trip into the Cold. No reason to risk the little dragon and he could always take her to the Abyssal Planes later.
"Here," Rainer said, taking out one of the coats Luna had prepared for his journey into severely cold places. She had gone a little over board after all the ideas Sarah gave her with Earth-related clothing in [Sleep Learning] and he hadn't had the heart to not take them all with him after she asked if 'this' was too many and if she shouldn't have. Spatial Rings were convenient in that aspect.
The Elf didn't say a word as she took the coat from him and put it on.
"Someone can hold a grudge. Why are you so angry with me anyways?" Rainer asked. He truly didn't understand it. From his point of view, she had been the aggressor in every instance. The only thing he could think was that, by befriending their Overlord, he had robbed her of whatever the bounty would be.
Rainer shrugged when the Elf didn't answer. "You'll warm up to me eventually," he snickered aloud as he spoke. Being powerful had the advantage of letting him make any sort of joke he wanted with abandon. His usual lack of embarrassment was only exacerbated by the fact that he could kill most people in any world with just a look. A look that came with a [Void Call] or an [Arcanum], but a look nonetheless. Not that he would of course, but the capability had a way of changing someone.
The thought suddenly made him understand the Void Lord in front of him a bit more. She had been all but born with such a power. Was it any wonder her personality was like this?
"If you make such a joke again, I'd rather die of this wretched frost than be warmed up to you."
"Since I am the maker of this 'wretched' frost, then your choices are to be warmed up by me or have my chilling frost invade every part of your body."
Rainer grinned at the thoughtful look on her face as if both now sounded equally unpleasant.
"And It'll be at least half a day's travel, if not more. It's a bit early to already be making such a declaration."
"Might I ask why we do not simply travel through the Void?" she said, ignoring his comment.
"It may be affected by the Ice, though you are welcome to try."
Aurora paused in thought, before disappearing from the grasp of his flight spell.
"It does not affect me at all."
So it seemed he was wrong, Rainer mused, though he was still glad he wasn't the one to test that. He shook his head and quickly explained where he believed the Elemental to have formed. Before they both decided [Void-Traveling] directly there wouldn't be the best idea if it proved far colder than they could handle.
They went through the Void, with Aurora's Void-Travel, and into the long-forgotten and now frozen city.
"I-I'llll wait further b-back," the Abyssal Elf shivered out before disappearing. She had dropped him off at one of the many tunnels that led to that last fortress where he slayed the Devils.
Rainer agreed with her sentiment, he'd rather wait far back as well. Not even his resistances could deal with the cold hitting him now. But a use of [Arcane Invigoration] removed that issue as it doubled their effects. On top of [Arcane Awakening] that now improved his body.
With [Miasma Conversion] along with his unlocked attribute and skills from the [Eldritch Draconic Mage] Class, the spell was far more efficient than in the past. Keeping up his two Arcane skills indefinitely was an easy task.
He moved forward, taking a slow [Eldritch Flight]. After all, ending up in a place with a sudden drop of temperature could be fatal. As he glided forward he reached towards the ice all around him.
To his surprise, manipulating it with [Arcane-Ice Manipulation] was possible. And more than just possible, it was easy. Like a child welcoming their parent home, the cold around him responded to his barest thought.
Pushing away the cold, he went inwards, passing through the final broken gate was met finally with a place of extreme elements.
And sight of power he most certainly hadn't been expecting.
[Arcane Elemental, None, Arcane-Eliminator(3rd)-
The [Appraisal] cut-off with a headache, as Rainer quickly realized satisfying his curiosity wasn't the best idea in this situation. Standing at least seven feet tall was a being of pure Arcane, clad in what seemed to be shoulder plates covered in runes and a silver-colored mask. By his side was the very reason both came here, a little mote of Arcane-Frosted light.
"Poacher," the large Arcane existence spoke, pushing away the little mote of Arcane-Frost behind him.
The single word was spoken with finality and vehemence, vibrating with Arcane Power throughout the frost-covered hall. And left no room for argument.
Only the quickest Void-walk he had ever used saved Rainer from a torrent of Arcane Energy that assailed his position.
"The Void will not save you."
Another shot out at him and Rainer threw [Arcanum Shield]s in front of it, returning fire with his own [Arcanum]s, careful not to aim near where he saw his elemental. The shields were torn through and the sheer energy around him disrupted his Void-walk. Only a quick [Arcane Awakening: Arcanum Step] dodged the beam of pure energy intent of cleaving him in two.
Rainer stepped and then disappeared through the Void again, only to be met with the Arcane Elemental right in front of him. The being of pure energy towered over him.
The [Archon] threw all his power into the frost around him, and it responded in turn. The cold whipped out towards the elemental, freezing his arms and the blast of Arcane that would have followed. The being shook in shock, and broke apart his frozen arm. Rainer did not let up his assault, knowing he was no match otherwise for the being, whose energy he couldn't even fathom.
Jor burst out from its container and consumed the leftover frozen energy of the being, and chased after it alongside the cold. The hungry frost of the mountain turned it's attention inwards, and unhesitantly tried to consume the Arcane-Being.
But Rainer could only watch helplessly, as said being grabbed the little mote and vanished in a outwards burst of Arcane. In just a matter of seconds, the child he traveled an incomparable distance to reach was gone.
Rainer spent the return flight intolerably pissed. Only that the Elemental seemed to think of him as a 'poacher' and was therefore protecting his child kept Rainer from falling asleep right now and getting Talvara's help in tracking him down. No matter how stupid that course of action would be given its tier 3 strength and that the Elemental's casual use of Arcane tore through his shields like nothing. That he also had no idea how he would even hurt the thing without the Arcane-Frost of earlier, played a role.
Luna's talk of it being his child hit him harder than he thought.
To calm his thoughts, Rainer went through everything he needed to do in the Abyssal Planes. First of which was checking if this place was any closer to his mom and grandfather. He sliced open his finger, only for the blood droplet to freeze mid-fall and land on his hand. Finding his earlier anger renewed, Rainer did his best to calm himself as he Void-walked several times away to a less cold place.
Once more, a drop of blood spilled from his finger and he cast the tracking spell before it froze. The result… was not completely disappointing. The distance was still far, but not as impossibly far.
At the very least he'd use this place as a midway point. He reminded himself to set a [Soul-Trace], or perhaps prioritize the simplified familiar bond ring as the first thing he'd enchant. Now that he was here, he'd use the time-altered state to get his enchanting up. The three focuses being said ring, a Spatial Ring, even of the barest quality, for proving himself a master enchanter, and a sample of the workshop system of Nalmar.
Though of a greater priority was the Avatar Ritual, on top of solving the issue Amer told him about with that spell. Working on his Arcane Magic was always a goal as well.
Jor tightened around his shoulders and neck, but more in the way of a serpent giving a hug than a snake strangling its prey. Rainer gave an appreciative head scratch in return. It was hard to stay angry when he had what was an almost literal representation of loyalty and an odd cuteness wrapped around him. That Jor also rushed out in his defense in front of that 3rd Tier monster certainly didn't hurt. Luna often had a similar effect.
Rainer briefly laughed to himself at what he imagined Luna's reaction would be to being compared to Jor. 'Luna doesn't eat that much, and Snakey gets to sleep way more than Luna. Not fair.'
Time passed in silence as he finally returned to where he had left Aurora.
"You find what you came for?" Aurora said, giving a long glance to the serpent around him and getting a bit of a disturbing feeling from it.
"No," Rainer failed to keep his anger down at the reminder, "Let's go back to the city."